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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

| May 25, 2022

Larry Elder Joins Epoch Media Group (EMG) Hosting Live TV Show and Other Projects. Speculation has been growing as to what recent GOP California gubernatorial candidate and TALKERS Heavy Hundred radio star Larry Elder’s next talk media move would be since leaving his nightly program on the Salem Radio Network. The wait is finally over as Epoch Media Group (EMG) announces that Elder has joined EMG, publishers of the rapidly growing American international newspaper, The Epoch Times, and will continue hosting the Larry Elder Show on Epoch TV, NTDTV and other platforms associated with EMG. Elder will host a live, streaming show four times per week on which, according to EMG sources, he will “continue to give the audience his take on the latest and most important issues facing America.” He will also host a podcast for EMG. Based in Los Angeles, Elder is known to his following as “the Sage from South Central” and “America’s truth detector.” He was the front-running GOP challenger to Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. Elder is also an attorney, author, and accomplished documentary filmmaker. EMG CEO John Tang tells TALKERS, “Larry Elder is an advocate of the principles of The Epoch Times newspaper – truth and tradition – and is inspired by its mission to bring the readers accurate information so they can form their own opinions about the most significant topics of our time.” Tang adds, “In a day and age of sensationalist and emotionally charged news coverage, Elder uses the facts – with humor and insight – to break down the nation’s current events and most urgent issues.” Commenting on this new association, Elder states, “I’m excited to join The Epoch Times. I’m impressed by the newspaper’s courage and willingness to speak the truth to promote liberty and freedom.”

 

 

Hillis Returns to Audacy as Brand Manager for KILT-AM, Houston. Sports radio pro Parker Hillis is named brand manager for Audacy’s KILT-AM, Houston “Sports Radio 610,” effective June 6. Hillis was most recently assistant program director for Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan.” He previously served with Audacy’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The Fan” in a number of producer roles. Audacy Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Parker is a rising star. He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.” Hillis comments, “I’m excited to join the ‘Sports Radio 610’ team in Houston. The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”

 

‘The Fisher House Story’ Available for Memorial Day Weekend Programming. Programmers seeking shows for this Memorial Day weekend should reach out to the folks at Fisher House about carrying “The Fisher House Story: Peace of Mind and a Place to Hear.” The free show is available in numerous lengths, including three-hour, two-hour, one-hour (all with 20 mins of avails), 30 minute non-commercial, and 25-minute content segment for news/talk radio. As you are probably aware, the Fisher House provides free housing for the families of military personnel who are undergoing treatment at VA hospitals that allows them to be near their loved ones. At the Fisher House site, you will find the shows, as well as a marketing & social media toolkit and year round PSAs.

 

 

Matt McGill Returns to WVON, Chicago for Midday Show. Windy City media personality Matt McGill is coming back to Midway Broadcasting’s news/talk WVON to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program, effective June 1. McGill stepped away from his afternoon drive show he co-hosted with Kimberly Egonwman last year. Egonwman currently co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Atiba Buchanan. “The Matt McGill Show” – which the station says will be a mix of local news, entertainment and human-interest topics – will replace “Keeping It Real with Al Sharpton” which will move to the station’s website and air live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Midway Broadcasting CEO Melody Spann Cooper says, “Al Sharpton will always be a member of our family here at WVON, but Matt’s program will focus on longform, sponsor-driven content that is designed to boost revenue and ratings.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Texas media firm Ramar gets back into the TV business after being a radio-only company for some time as it closes on the construction permit for low power television station K26PJ-D in Lubbock, Texas. Ramar is acquiring it from Mako Communications LLC for $30,000. Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group served as the exclusive broker for the seller.…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of the 106th Indianapolis 500 live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday (5/29). Throughout this week, SiriusXM will present more Indy racing content leading up to Sunday’s race…..The GCN-syndicated “The Dr. Daliah Show” – starring Dr. Daliah Wachs– is added to the weekend program schedule at WBIN Media’s New Hampshire news/talk trio WTPL, Hillsborough; WTSN, Dover; and WEMJ, Laconia that is branded “The Pulse of New Hampshire.”

 

Deadly Texas Shoot Shooting/Gun Control, Primary Races/Trump & the GOP, the Economy/Baby Formula, Russia-Ukraine War, North Korea Missile Tests, and ISIS Plots Bush Assassination Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/24). A gunman in Uvalde, Texas kills 19 children and two teachers leading to debate over gun control; the midterm primary races in Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, & Georgia and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the falling tech sector on Wall Street, the high price of gas & food, and the baby formula shortage; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; North Korea conducts missile tests on the heels of Joe Biden’s Asia trip; and the feds foil a plot, allegedly by ISIS, to assassinate George W. Bush were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

| May 17, 2022

Radio One Names Jeff Rickard Program Director for Sports Talk WFNZ, Charlotte. Sports talk radio pro Jeff Rickard is named program director for Radio One’s WFNZ-AM/FM. Rickard most recently served as brand manager for Audacy’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Prior to that, he was PD and morning host at Emmis’ WFNI, Indianapolis. During his career he’s also served with Comcast, ESPN Radio, and Sirius XM. Radio One RVP Marsha Landess comments, “We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment. Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.” Rickard adds, “I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work. Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

 

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2022 sweep covered March 31 – April 27. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM dips two-tenths, posting a 3.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #8. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WINS is up one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 4.2 share and rises to #6. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles climbs four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 5.1 share and climbs to the #3 rank, while Audacy’s all-news KNX-FM loses half a share for a 3.4 share finish and falls to the #8 rank.  In Atlanta, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM sheds a half share but remains ranked #3 on the strength of a 6.4 share. Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is ranked #1 in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market despite losing seven-tenths and finishing with a 6.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

 

FMR Associates-Eastlan: Radio Listening Rises 31% in Last Six Months. According to a study conducted in March and April for FMR Associates and Eastlan Ratings clients to determine usage levels of local AM/FM radio compared to the period six months prior, a number of positive conclusions were reached. The study reveals that in the last six months, weekly AM/FM radio listening is on the increase: 31% indicate they are listening to radio more, compared to 18% listening less. This finding is regardless of sex, age or market rank. FMR Associates-Eastlan says, “This unique finding bodes well for traditional radio growing as the pandemic comes to an end and even as more audio options such as podcasts and streaming platforms are available.” Digging deeper, the study found that the increase in weekly AM/FM listening is greatest among adults 25-44 at 37%. Men and women are equally increasing their listening time with AM/FM radio. More people going back to work, commuting and some cutting back on subscription audio or video services are among the primary factors cited for increased AM/FM consumption. Also, current weekly AM/FM radio listening is at 86% in the 25 to 64 age group. Significantly, cume listening is strong and consistent regardless of age, sex, market rank or geographic region. The statistically projectable national survey of 25 to 64 year-old adults from the thousands surveyed each month by Eastlan was demographically balanced and geographically representative.

 

Audacy’s State of Audio Explores Key Audio Trends. The second edition of Audacy’s “State of Audio” e-book that details key insights relevant to the listeners, creators and advertisers revolutionizing audio has been released. Some of the key metrics from the guide include: 1) Audio revenue outpaced video in 2021. Per the latest IAB Advertising Revenue Report, audio streaming revenue is up +59% YOY. And audio streaming growth is outpacing investments in video, social and search; 2) Audio usage has eclipsed TV, including CTV Audio reaches everyone, with 99% of US adults reporting using audio monthly. And that’s more than the total use of TV, including connected devices. (Source: Nielsen, Q4 2021); and 3) Time spent listening on AM/FM streaming and podcast content has increased +64% from 2015 to Q1 2022. (Source: Edison Research, Share of Ear Study, Q4 2015-Q1 2022). Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman comments, “Audio is a trusted companion to hundreds of millions of listeners and more than any other medium, the best way creators across the globe connect with their audiences authentically and intimately at scale. Our second edition of the ‘State of Audio, The Disruptors: The Listeners, Advertisers, and Creators Revolutionizing Audio’ focuses on the people, strategies, and content shaping Audio’s meteoric rise as a must have media for marketers.” See more here.

 

KBLA, Los Angeles Debuts ‘A More Perfect Union.’ A new weekend program is launching this Sunday (5/22) on Smiley Audio Media’s KBLA, Los Angeles. “A More Perfect Union,” hosted by journalist, educator, and KBLA “Talk 1580” chief national political analyst Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey. Airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, the program is a “national public affairs program, featuring notable journalists, industry leaders, lawmakers, changemakers, tastemakers, and ordinary people motivated to do their part to reach beyond today’s divisions; make sense out of news of the day and offer listeners a chance to build a more perfect union.” Smiley Audio Media owner Tavis Smiley says, “Now more than ever the Black constituency must first be made aware, and then armed with information that can help advance the issues we care about and repel the ideas that are antithetical to the best interests of our community. The time is now for ‘A More Perfect Union,’ which is a weekly show designed to keep our community in the know with a moderator like Dr. Quartey, who keeps his ear to the ground and his heart attuned to the causes we care about.”

 

‘100 Years of WGN Radio’ to Air on WGN-TV. On Thursday (5/19) at 7:00 pm, the special program, “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective,” will air on WGN-TV, Chicago. The 45-minute documentary produced by WGN Radio tells the story of the station, starting with its beginnings in 1922 when it was founded by Chicagoans Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins as WDAP, to highlighting moments throughout its century of history up to present day. Viewers will see the faces of familiar voices, including Bob Sirott, John Williams, Lou Manfredini, Steve King and Johnnie Putman, Dave Eanet, Mary Van De Velde, Dave Plier, and others, reflecting on their experiences at the station and sharing memorable moments. The program will be re-broadcast on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 pm CT on WGN-TV.

 

Tim Hartlage Returns to Salem to Lead Sales in Nashville. Radio management pro Tim Hartlage is returning to Salem Media Group to serve as general sales manager for the company’s Nashville operations. Hartlage served as GSM and then general manager for the company’s Louisville station group from 2005 to 2015. He says, “Leaving Salem in 2015 to plant a much-needed church and ministry in Louisville’s southwest area, my old neighborhood, with my wife Jennifer, was one of the toughest decisions we had ever made. Returning to Salem and joining the Nashville team as general sales manager was one of the easiest. Salem Nashville is in an incredibly vibrant market with a great reputation. It’s great to be a part of the Salem Family again. It feels like a homecoming.”

 

Buffalo Shooting/Great Replacement Theory, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, and UFO Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The aftermath of the deadly Buffalo shooting and talk of the Great Replacement Theory; the financial markets, inflation, and concerns about a major recession on the horizon; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s threats against Finland and Sweden; the primary races for November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.; and today’s scheduled congressional hearing on UFOs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

| April 20, 2022

Drew Anderssen Jumps to Audacy’s KRLD-AM, Dallas. After a long career with Cox Media Group in Tulsa, Orlando and, most recently, at news/talk giant WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, news/talk programming pro Drew Anderssen joins Audacy as brand manager of KRLD-AM, Dallas “Newsradio 1080” and the Texas State Networks. In this role, Anderssen will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station and networks. Audacy regional president and market manager Brian Purdy says, “We’re delighted to bring Drew aboard to lead KRLD and TSN. For over two decades, Drew has proven to be a winning brand leader across multiple formats, which we trust will serve him well as he takes the reins of DFW’s news and information brand.” Anderssen comments, “I’m thrilled to join Audacy and work with the phenomenal team at KRLD and the Texas State Networks. This was a tremendous opportunity to return to the city where I grew up and fell in love with radio, and work with such a prestigious brand and decorated team.  I’m grateful to Susan Larkin, Jeff Sottolano, Brian Purdy and Gavin Spittle and I can’t wait to hit the ground running in the Lone Star State.”

 

Round One of March PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Audacy’s all-news WINS tacks on one-tenths for a 4.1 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish to remain ranked #7. Red Apple Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM adds nine-tenths to finish with a 3.8 share good for the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles news/talk KFI is up seven-tenths for a 4.7 share finish that boosts it to the #5 rank while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-FM rises six-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.9 share and the #7 rank. In Atlanta, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM dips by half a share for a 6.9 share finish and falls from #2 to #3. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets here.

 

Ramsey Press Publishes Dr. Jon Delony’s New Book. Titled, Own Your Past, Change Your Future, the latest book from Ramsey Solutions’ Dr. Jon Delony “reminds readers there’s a better, healthier way to live.” Ramsey Press says, “Normalizing stress has left us more disconnected than ever. In fact, Americans have gotten so used to loneliness that 82% of people said they don’t even feel close to or known by the friends they spend the most time with. What we’ve failed to realize is loneliness and chronic stress debilitate our physical and mental health. Dr. John Delony reminds readers they are worth being well, meeting them in the trenches of their anxiety and loneliness with easy-to-understand concepts that ultimately lead to healing.” Dr. Delony adds, “We’re living life like every second is the Super Bowl, and we’re doing it all by ourselves. Humans were not designed to shoulder immense pressure alone. Enough is enough. We’ve got to get back to basics and connect with others in ways that are deep and meaningful.”

 

George Plaster to Leave WNSR for Main Street Media. According to a report in the Tennessean, sports media personality George Plaster is leaving Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk outlet WNSR “Nashville Sports Radio” to launch a streaming program via Main Street Media. When the streaming platform debuts this summer, Plaster’s show will stream from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. Main Street Media founder Dave Gould says, “We couldn’t be more excited about having George join Main Street Media. George is a Nashville sports icon, and we believe our audience will really enjoy listening to him and the shows we have planned.” The report indicates that Plaster’s co-host and former Vanderbilt University football coach Watson Brown will join him in the move. Plaster says, “I’m excited about the opportunity to join Watson Brown in this new venture. I am really impressed with Main Street Media; it’s an incredible media story. I also want to say a big thank you to Ted Johnson and the WNSR staff for a really fun sports talk experience. I can’t wait to get started at Main Street Media.”

 

‘Sounds of Sinatra’ Host Sid Mark Passes at 88. The man who hosted the nationally syndicated Frank Sinatra radio show based at Audacy’s WPHT, Philadelphia for the past 22 years has died. Sid Mark died at age 88 on Monday (4/18). Sid Mark’s “Sounds of Sinatra” was syndicated for 43 years and was carried by radio stations airing different formats, including full-service AM outlets and news/talk stations. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “He presented the music of Frank Sinatra from the standpoint of a friend as well as a fan. As the host of the longest running, single artist, syndicated radio program in America, Sid was the leading authority on Frank Sinatra and his entertainment legacy. His personal relationship with Sinatra began in the mid 1960s and allowed Sid to offer more than just the remarkable music but insights into Sinatra’s career with personal anecdotes and stories behind the timeless music.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Travel Mask Mandate/COVID-19, Biden Approval Ratings/Midterm Elections, the Economy/Inflation, January 6-Ginni Thomas Controversy, School Curriculum Battles, and Musk vs. Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s reaction, and the economic impact of the war; a judge rules the air travel mask mandate is illegal, the concerns about the BA.2 variant, and the brutal lockdowns in Shanghai and Hong Kong; President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections; the state of the U.S. economy and high gas & food prices; the controversy over Ginni Thomas’ purported role in the January 6 Capitol attack; the Florida-led fight over sex-gender issues and critical race theory in public school curricula; and Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter and take it private were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

| February 16, 2022

MIW Reveals Gender Analysis Study Results. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio organization reveals the results of the 22nd MIW Gender Analysis Study that tracks the progress of female professionals holding general manager, sales manager, and program director/brand manager titles. MIW says the study reflects data from the calendar year 2021 and was accounted for by PrecisionTrak. In the general manager category, women hold the position at 20.79% of U.S. radio stations. This is an increase of almost a full percentage point from 2020, which was 19.9%. Notably, this number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%. Looking at sales managers, 33.59% of stations had a woman in the position last year. MIW says the management position that poses the greatest challenge for women is program director/brand manager. Only 12.09% of U.S. stations had women in the position in 2021, versus 12.2% in 2020. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “If the glass is half full we should celebrate any upward movement, even if it’s incremental, as jobs continue to be eliminated in the continuing pandemic. However, it’s disappointing that the glass isn’t filling faster for those in programming and MIW is paying close attention to this issue. We encourage you to register at radiomiw.com to learn about our multiple opportunities for mentoring and career development!”

iHeartMedia to Celebrate WOR, New York’s 100th Anniversary. WOR-AM, New York owner iHeartMedia is preparing to celebrate the news/talk station’s 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on February 22, 1922. Next Tuesday (2/22), “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” will kick off the tribute by interviewing on-air hosts from WOR’s history to share memories of their time at the station. WOR will also air audio of historic moments and invite listeners to call in with their favorite WOR recollections. On February 23, the Empire State Building will light up in the colors of the station’s logo beginning at 5:40 pm. WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “A station broadcasting for over a century is truly incredible. 710 WOR has a strong connection with the communities we serve, and as the media landscape continues to evolve, it’s exciting to see our reach has continued to grow as WOR listeners adopt streaming on smart devices and the iHeartRadio app.” WOR was initially launched to sell radios and other merchandise at Bamberger’s department store in Newark, New Jersey.

Talk Host Mark Kaye Announces 15-Year-Old Sickle Cell Patient as New Voice of the Program. WOKV-FM, Jacksonville-based, syndicated radio talk show host Mark Kaye (left) names 15-year-old Quincy Chapman (right) the new voice of “The Mark Kaye Show.” Kaye met Chapman during his “Kaye’s Kids” charity event called “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Kaye says, “Every Christmas we surprise local children who are battling life-threatening illnesses with dream gifts. This past December, Quincy was one of those kids.” Chapman suffers from the painful Sickle Cell Disease that’s required several blood transfusions, spleen removal, and a recent hip transplant. “Quincy lives in constant pain,” says Kaye. “But you would never know it if you met him. He has an incredible personality, an amazing smile, and as soon as he spoke on the air we were blown away by the power of his voice. He sounds incredible!” After being at the station, Chapman posted a message on Instagram describing how much fun he had on the show and how he was “hooked” on radio. Kaye saw the post and came up with the idea of bringing him back into the studio to record elements for his show. Kaye says, “As soon as he walked in the studio you could tell by the look on his face how happy it made him. We asked him to record some liners and promos for us. Dude was a natural.”

Alpha Media’s Chris Schmidt Named NSMA’s Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year. Lincoln, Nebraska radio personality Chris Schmidt is named the National Sports Media Association’s 2021 Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year. Schmidt serves with Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR-AM and sports talk KLMS-AM as play-by-play announcer, host of the “Hail Varsity” program, and cast member of the “KFOR Morning Show.” Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Katie Philipi says, “Chris is an exceptional broadcaster and his passion cannot be rivaled. He is so deserving of this award. The entire Alpha Lincoln family celebrates his achievement.” Schmidt comments, “I’m humbled and honored by this award. Thank you to the many folks I have worked with over the years and get to work with today. I have fun going to ‘work’ every day, talking about news and sports.”

Edison Research to Host Black Podcast Listener Report Networking Event. On February 28, Edison Research is hosting an online “networking” event to further the discussion of the results of the Black Podcast Listener Report it, SXM Media, and Mindshare released in October of 2021. Edison says the virtual event will give podcasters and other interested parties a chance to network and discuss various relevant podcast topics, such as key findings from the Black Podcast Listener Report, feedback for the next report, and other topics helpful to creators in the space.  The study participants consisted of over 2,500 Black Americans age 18+. It concluded that 36% of Black Americans now listen to podcasts monthly. Black listeners are closing the gap with the general market. In 2020, 17% of Black Americans were listening to podcasts weekly, compared with 24% of all Americans. Just a year later, the number of weekly Black listeners jumped to 26% (while the general market grew slightly to 28%). Also, 42% of Black monthly podcast listeners say they’ve been streaming shows for one year or less. You can read the report here and you can register for the networking event here.

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Durham Probe, S.F. School Board Recall, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Palin-NYTimes Case, Alec Baldwin Suit, and Beijing Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The threat of war over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the planned relaxing of mask mandates in numerous states, and the truckers’ protests; special counsel John Durham’s investigation into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s digital spying on Donald Trump; the successful recall of three liberal San Francisco School Board members; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; a judge tosses Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against The New York Times; Alec Baldwin is sued in connection with the shooting death on the Rust set; and the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, January 28, 2022

| January 28, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Back in the USSR,” looks back at this past week of 1/24 to 1/28. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, TALKERS executive editor, John Batchelor, talk show host, CBS RadioHarry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Victoria Jones, executive director/commentator, DC Radio CompanyJosh Hammer, opinion editor/podcaster, Newsweek; and Nanette Holt, reporter, The Epoch Times. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Bonneville Names Sean Thompson PD for ‘Arizona Sports.’ Sports radio pro Sean Thompson is named program director for Bonneville’s Phoenix sports talk properties, KMVP-FM “98.7 FM Arizona Sports” and KTAR-AM “ESPN 620 Phoenix.” Thompson comes to Bonneville from his most recent position as assistant brand manager for Audacy’s WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 FM The Game.” Thompson comments, “It was going to need to be the ultimate opportunity for me to leave ‘The Game’ and I’ve found it. With the talented talk shows, flagship relationships with all the local teams and full commitment to digital content, the potential for the ‘Arizona Sports’ super brand is limitless.” Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Ryan Hatch adds, “Sean is the perfect person to lead ‘Arizona’s Sports Station’ to new heights. He is strategic, creative, collaborative and we can’t wait to see what he will do to continue to grow the ‘Arizona Sports’ brand on all channels.” Thompson takes over for Rod Lakin, who assumed the brand manager post with Audacy’s sports talk WIP, Philadelphia in October.

KFI-AM Launches Weekly Show with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Los Angeles news/talk KFI-AM announces the return of the weekly radio program, “Live and Unscripted with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.” The iHeartMedia station will air the program on Sundays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm from its studios in Burbank. The station says, “The new weekly program is back by popular demand and is hosted by Alex Villanueva, who runs the country’s largest sheriff’s department. Every Sunday, listeners can join the show to hear the hottest topics on the mind of LA County residents: homelessness, crime, corruption and politics. Villanueva will also feature guests who will explain the inner workings of the various bureaus in his department.” Station program director Robin Bertolucci says, “Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a straight talker and KFI has always welcomed bold talk.”

Round Three of Holiday PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Radio listening patterns change during this period due to the seasonal implementation of Christmas music but some spoken-word stations were able to buck that trend. Audacy’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh tacked on seven-tenths for a 4.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rose to the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland was up four-tenths for a 4.4 share and climbed to the #7 rank. In Kansas City, Audacy’s KMBZ-FM rose four-tenths for a 5.0 share finish good for the #5 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well and the first two rounds) here.

Audacy Partners with Podchaser for Podcasting Insight. A new partnership between Audacy and Podchaser will allow Audacy to use Podchaser’s metadata and podcast technology capabilities to gain insight into the performance and influence of podcasts across the entire industry, enhancing Audacy’s value proposition for agencies and clients. Audacy EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “As Audacy continues to build out our industry leading, measurement and attribution suite, we are excited to partner with Podchaser to help our client and agency partners continue to make smart decisions routed in data when placing their podcast buys with Audacy.”

WABC, New York Honors Memory of Fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera. New York City news/talk “77 WABC Radio” is honoring fallen New York City Police Officer Jason Rivera today (1/28), the day of his funeral. The station is asking its listeners to recognize Rivera’s service. “On behalf of John Catsimatidis, chairman and chief executive officer of The Red Apple Group and subsidiary Red Apple Media and the entire staff of 77 WABC, we encourage you to join us and support a hometown hero at the NYPD by ‘standing with us’ on Friday, January 28 at 9:00 am EST to honor the life of Jason Rivera. 77 WABC will pause the airwaves and take a moment of silence to show support and ask ALL of New York City and America to STAND, outside your home, inside your home, place of work or school. All of our communities are deeply saddened and affected, and we are asking to show your support.” 77 WABC and One Times Square have collaborated to display the image of Jason Rivera on the side of their building at 8:58 am, 9:15 am, 9:30 am, 9:45 am. The station is also distributing free “Back The Blue” pins to wear to show support for police officers via its website.

TALKERS News Notes. Seattle’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM “KOMO News” is losing its heritage call letters and the “KOMO News” slogan as part of the deal that transferred the station from Sinclair Broadcast Group to Lotus Broadcasting. The Seattle Times reports that since the deal allows Sinclair to keep the KOMO calls off the stations, it will take up the new calls KNWN for “Northwest News.” Station PD and afternoon personality Rick Van Cise tells the paper, “There won’t be any difference in the sound of the radio station. The personalities, the reporters are all staying the same.”…..Austin public radio outlet KUT-FM names Jerry Quijano permanent host of the “All Things Considered” host seat at the NPR member station. Quijano began his career with KUT in 2017 as a weekend local host. After graduating from Texas A&M University-San Antonio and participating in NPR’s Next-Generation Radio project, he started full-time the following year…..“Radiolab” founder Jad Abumrad announces he’s leaving the podcast he founded almost 20 years ago and to honor and celebrate him, WNYC is releasing the very first episode of the show that was broadcast only once on WNYC’s AM station in 2002 and then locked away in the vault. WNYC says it had to literally digitize the show from several CDs to get it on air. Speaking about his departure, Abumrad says, “For the last few years – since 2016 really – I’ve told myself that there’d come a point when the team would be ‘ready’ for me to leave. When they might even need me to. I wasn’t sure when that would be or how I’d know, but I made a pact with myself to stay watchful, to create space rather than filling it, and to listen rather than talk. We’re at that point.”

COVID-19 Vaccines, Masks & Mandates Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 24-28. Controversy surrounding COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates and the rate of infection from the Omicron variant in the U.S. and around the world came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the global tensions over the Russian military build-up at the Ukraine border, tied with relations between the U.S. and China. Coming in at #3 this week was the announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and speculation about President Joe Biden’s potential nominee. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.